(Re)Creating a Hero's Narrative through Music: Different Musical Landscapes in Six Live Action Batman Films
AdvisorTraut, Donald G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation uses an interdisciplinary approach that analyzes and compares the film scoring processes of Danny Elfman, Elliot Goldenthal, James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer in characterizing the fictional hero Batman in film. This is accomplished by applying Classical Hollywood film scoring principles from the golden age of cinema, Juan Chattah's pragmatic and semiotic typologies regarding musical metaphoric expression, and psychology. This amalgamation demonstrates how the aforementioned film composers consider varying structural aspects of their music, i.e., formal design, melodic contour, harmonic gestures, and cadential formulas, in (re)creating and establishing their individual artistic trademarks on a comic book character within canonical and non-canonical storylines. The study includes soundtracks from Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The result is an analysis that: 1) enhances what little is known about the music for these films; 2) allows for the recognition of the film scoring creative process behind film sequelization; 3) enhances musical and psychological interpretations of the Batman character; and 4) offers an expansion of Chattah's metaphorical typologies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College